Dateline: 23 April 2006
I want to assure you that it is not my intention to blather on endlessly here about my new book, Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian. But I will mention it some, especially now that I’ve just released it to the world. That is, after all, the big story around here this weekend. I’ve even sold some copies. Better yet, very important people are now reading the book. These people I am speaking of are my three sons, Chaz (18), Robert (15), and James (11).
My boys did read a few portions of the book as I was putting it together, and I did read parts of the manuscript to them. But they did not really read it much at all and, though they took an interest in the process and progress of producing the book, they did not take much of an interest in what it said, until now.
Yesterday, Marlene told me she happened upon Chaz reading the book and chuckling to himself. He actually took it to bed with him last night to read. James asked if there was another copy that he could read in bed too.
Robert, leafing through the book, exclaimed to me, “You put some of my journal entries in here?” I replied, “Yes, I paid you for them so I own the rights to publication. Read the story and tell me what you think.” So he read it. He could have read the entire manuscript any time before it was published but wasn’t interested. He spent awhile quietly reading and when he was done he told me “That’s pretty neat.” Then he informed me that I owed him for the past four months of journaling (you’ll have to read the story to understand the paying part).
The fact of the matter is that one of my primary reasons for blogging here was to create a record of my thoughts and our family’s life for my children and grandchildren to have. And though Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian is dedicated to my grandfather, I really wrote it for my children. They do not see their life and our family as anything remarkable now but one day they will see it more clearly. And I knew that, though they showed little interest in it now, they would one day appreciate this book. Praise the Lord, that one day has come sooner than I expected.
Speaking of my grandfather, he is the old man pictured with me (at two years old) on the cover of the book. The photograph used for the cover is one I’ve carefully kept for many years inside the pages of my grandfather’s 1967 daily journal. The last story in my book tells all about the picture, so I’ll not tell you about it here. But I do want to tell you this little story...
When I took that old photograph to my graphic designer and asked her if she thought she could make it work for the cover, she held it and studied it, and I watched her. I saw her expression change for just a moment; I thought I saw a small wave of emotion sweep over her. She said she loved the picture and later, she told me that it reminded her of her grandfather and she felt like crying when she first saw it. That was confirmation to me that the photo would make a good cover. It tells a story. I was blessed that Kansas Milkmaid saw something within the picture and wrote about it in her blog. I have to say that the cover is clearer to see and more compelling when it’s in your hands, as opposed to a pixilated image on the internet.
There are, of course, other happenings hereabouts and I’ll be writing about them soon.